Blue Back Block (for Travellers)
Cork Back Block
I first caused my lower back injury hiking through the Alps. I survived Switzerland and France, but my back descended into severe pain in northern Italy. Rest, sangiovese and local food offered temporary relief, but it didn’t go away when I got back home.
My MRI showed a bulging disc and inflamed facet joints. In spite of the supposed mildness of my diagnosis, I experienced intense pain. The pilates exercises I was recommended by my physiotherapist exacerbated this pain, although I knew they were the best long-term path forward. I needed an intermediary step to unlock my ability to do the exercises without pain. The BackBlock was this step.
Once I started doing Sarah’s exercises nightly just before bed, a whole new world opened up. Not only did they help bring fluid into my spine, but they also fostered an ideal psychological calmness for undisturbed sleep, which is crucial to the healing process.
Within a few months I was doing exercises with little to no pain. It has been almost 11 months since my initial injury and I now have the strongest back and core I have had in over a decade through regular exercise and stretching. If I didn’t have the BackBlock as an intermediary step, I am sure it would have taken a lot longer to get to the point I am at now, if it was even possible. It’s also comforting to know that if I descend into excruciating pain in the future, I have the BackBlock as a more moderate and gentle approach to pull me out of the rut.
Paul Zubrinich – 13/11/2013
The Sarah Key Method uses BackBlocks so that patients can do their own therapy at home. Using the BackBlock stretches the spine, which helps to realign poor postures, pull fluid back into dehydrated discs and stimulate discs at a cellular level – all of which is important for spinal rehabilitation. All three are important!
Whichever Back Block you choose, remember it’s best used in the evening, when the spine is most compressed from up to 20% of fluid loss through the day. But do make sure you commit to using it daily! Remember, what I say: once you’re hooked on the BackBlock, your days of needing hands-on treatment are numbered!
BackBlocks are not my idea. They come from Iyengar yoga but sure as eggs, they are a case of simple is genius.
Every single patient treated by the Sarah Key Method is taught to use a BackBlock. It complements early one-to-one treatment (if you have it – lots don’t) and continues on after ‘hands on’ treatment has stopped. The decompression also stretches various soft tissues that have adaptively shortened, – say at the front of the hips or the back of the knees, not to mention the very strong anterior longitudinal ligament running down the fronts of the vertebral bodies that will keep you bowed-over and compressed if it stays shrunk.
And the final bit of information to persuade you of the benefits of spinal decompression – even before you are in pain, as a preventative measure – is that spinal researchers tell us stretching discs while they are healthy makes them better able to withstand compression. With a whole crop of little telly tubby kids coming along, we really should be doing spinal decompression as prophylactic or preventative measure. Right now!
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